The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.

Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.

Our favorite sailing quote:

"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Home Sweet Home, July 15

I feel like after three years at sea I should be sharing some words of wisdom and some coherent summaries of how our life has been changed and bettered by our time together as a family. How we saw the world from a different prospective and not through the lens of the American media and simply to reflect on the wonderful things we have experience. Alas, I am just not up to the task at the moment and hope to work on some words that articulate better what this epic journey has meant to us. That will have to come in time, for now I can offer an update on how things are going as we re-assimilate back into our land based lives. I can also share a few short moving videos of underwater life that I simply was not able to share with the bandwidth we had while cruising.

We've been back 10 days or so now and the novelty of living in a home again is starting to wear thin. We've had three years of deferred maintenance on our house to catch up on, so while Mike was excited to move off the boat and take a break from constantly fixing things.......guess what he is doing now? He's fixing things! Although there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Things have changed a little in our neck of the woods. In the time that we were away, two new houses were built adjacent to our property, so where there once was a thicket of blackberries and other trees, there now are two homes.  The high school boundary map was redrawn while we were away and the high school we always expect to go to, the one just a mile away and down the street is no longer our HS and we will have to cross two major highways to get to the new one. The traffic seems to have gotten worse, but that is probably the case everywhere. I suppose all in the name of progress. How soon before I yearn for those isolated days on the atoll? Probably when I'm stuck in my first traffic jam!

When we returned Porter immediately started texting friends and setting up park dates and he is currently at a sleepover. Zander has touched base with a friend or two, but enjoys the solitude of shooting hoops and having some much needed space to himself and is slow to move back into the hectic social scene. Ana didn't remember much about our house. She needed to be shown where the bathrooms were, where the mailbox was, and while she was ecstatic to have her own room, she has yet to sleep all night in it alone! We are all used to having zero elbow room, and now we have a big house to get lost in. It is all good, but it is taking some adjusting to.

What else is different? It is still a novelty to have Internet and instant information at our fingertips. We still aren't used to that and we feel like cavemen having been dropped into the 21st century. I love having a grocery store up the street from us. I no longer have to meal plan two weeks or so out in order to make sure we eat.  Not everything has to be made from scratch either. A frozen waffle and a toaster is an amazing thing. The amount of retail in our area and the choice of stores, restaurants and buying options is also staggering. I can now walk into a Target and drop $100 and not really get anything important. Abroad that never happened. Yes, prices were more expensive, but there really never was anything of quality to buy.  In the islands nothing was ever cheap and the quality was poor. Think dollar store quality or worse.  And more often than not, just nothing to buy.  In Latin America things were cheaper, but you got what you paid for and quality was usually still poor. We bought very little, and of course we were restricted by space on the boat, so purchases were minimal and we got by with what we left Oregon with. We are also hemorrhaging money in many other ways that just didn't exist on the boat. Obviously the house is consuming some money but that was a given. We've poured money into soccer camps, soccer leagues, water polo associations, swim condition access at the community pool and get this, it actually cost big bucks to play on a high school sport these days. We've got cell phone bills, cable, wifi, house utilities, car insurance and higher health insurance. All things we didn't have to pay for while afloat. The financial cost of living the American dream is a bit overwhelming at first.

We are very happy to be home, but we know there will be times when we will miss the simpler lifestyle cruising offered. It will continue to be an adjustment, but hopefully an enjoyable adjustment period. Pelagic is currently docked at the Portland Yacht Club and we've decided we aren't going to make any decisions on whether or not to sell her for the next year. She took great care of us for three years and over 28K miles, and we want some time to ponder what our next big adventure will be and whether or not it will require a new boat, our old boat, or no boat at all.

More to come as I sift through our mountain of video.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Arrival, Astoria, July 3rd

Spot doesn't have coverage over the whole Pacific, but this covers most of our last passage.

The Astoria bridge in the background as we made landfall in Oregon. Whew, I didn't think we would ever get here. 
I'll keep this one short, but I've got some videos; diving, passage making, that at some point I would like to share.  It may take me a few weeks to get organized enough to post. Check back.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

ETA Columbia Bar, 5am

After 19 days at sea, we are finally in the final push to land. We will still have to motor up river 90 miles, but we will be within cell phone range, on a flat river and more importantly, maybe we will get out of this marine fog and warm up.
We've got about 75 miles to go, and we are expecting to cross the bar at about 5am tomorrow morning, which has us cross with a flood tide, perfect for going up river.

We are starting to see lots of fishing boats out here, but our lines in the water have yet to get a nibble. We've got lots of space in our freezer for a nice big salmon. Bite damnit!

N 46 16
W 126 01

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 1, two days out, 275 miles to go

Two days until we reach land, two more days up the river and then we will be home. 1 day shy of three years from the day we moved out of our house and on to the boat. Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic about getting home and resuming our land based life, but it is definitely with great sadness that we close this chapter. From our blog, you don't have to read between the lines to realize that it wasn't always easy; we fought, the kids fought, the passages were hard (excruciatingly hard sometimes), living altogether in a small space for three years was less than ideal at times, the home schooling was often frustrating....we definitely had our difficulties. That said, even with those hurdles in place, it was still the time of our lives. A time we will never regret having spent with our kids. Ana won't remember all of it of course, but when she forgets an event, for example jumping overboard in the middle of the ocean, I hope she has tucked in deeply the sense of freedom, the sense of adventure and the thrill her face showed the first time she did it. I hope when, at a future time, the boys are presented with a less than favorable temptation, the responsibilities they had while sailing will give them pause enough to say "I do not need to prove myself here." There is no substitute, no replacement feeling for the thrill of spearing your first fish, having a shark bluff charge you or the excitement of making a landfall after many, many, many days at sea. I hope they remember that some things are worth being patient and waiting for. I hope the challenges Zander, Porter and Ana faced in Spain ready them for tough social challenges in the future. I hope the languages they were exposed to will give them more desire to learn new languages. I hope the landmarks they explored will help them remember and appreciate historical events. I hope the people they met, the cultures they were welcomed into and the friendships they were shown will remind them that people are precious regardless of their country of origin or the lifestyle they have chosen. I also hope, when they inherit this planet, they will forever remember the beauty, the complexity and the amazingness that is our home, along with our 7 billion neighbors, and work hard to protect it.

OK, some random musings. We aren't actually there yet, so technically we are still "living the dream." If the dream means fighting weather patterns in the North Pacific, being perpetually cold and having not slept more than 4 hours in a row in almost 3 weeks, then yes, we are living the dream! Although I shouldn't really complain. This passage could have been much, much worse. We did have a couple of rough days, but if you disregard the cold and fog and those few days, the majority of it has been pretty pleasant. It certainly helps that there are only three of us. There is a sailboat, a couple on a 46 foot Halberg Rassy, that charge big bucks to have prospective cruisers do passages with them where they show them the ropes. A future cruiser is exposed to the hardships that make up passage making so they are ready for their own passages. I've often thought, I could charge a mint renting my kids out on passages. If you cross an ocean, or even part of an ocean with our kids or probably any kids onboard, and then you remove them from the equation...the rest of your passages will forever feel like a piece of cake. Storms and pirates got nothing on three kids trying to coexist in 42 feet of space!

Enough for now, we are almost there! At the moment all is well aboard Pelagic.

N 45 45
We 130 17